5年後,你在何方,Dick

15 09 2013

Where Is Dick Fuld Now? Finding Lehman Brothers’ Last CEO

By  September 12, 2013

Aug. 29, 2013: Dick Fuld in exile

“Hi, I’m Dick Fuld, the most hated man in America.” It was just after the crisis, and Fuld was making a rare social appearance at a party in the Sun Valley, Idaho, mansion of Jim Johnson, the former head of Fannie Mae. The self-mocking introduction, described by a guest, was Fuld’s armor—his way of broaching, and deflecting, the first thought that leaps to mind whenever someone hears his name: Dick Fuld was the chief executive officer who, on Sept. 15, 2008, led Lehman Brothers into the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, setting a torch to the global financial system.

The party was a reminder of Fuld’s old life, packed with familiar faces from the highest levels of business and government, including former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. Fuld owns a $19 million compound in Sun Valley, but he couldn’t escape his new status as a pariah. One guest at the party recalls President Obama’s then-national security adviser, Tom Donilon, who owns a home nearby, showing up, spotting Fuld and Mozilo, turning white as a sheet, and slipping back out the door. (Johnson, Donilon, and Mozilo all declined to comment. Through a friend, Fuld said he wasn’t able to talk to reporters.)

Five years after the fall, Lehman Brothers no longer evokes the intense public anger it did in the weeks after the crash, when Fuld was hauled before Congress and made to answer for the firm’s demise. “If you haven’t discovered your role,” Republican Representative John Mica of Florida told him, “you’re the villain.” Most of the company’s top executives found lucrative jobs elsewhere on Wall Street. Many went to work for Barclays (BCS), which bought much of Lehman’s U.S. banking business out of bankruptcy. Lehman’s president, Bart McDade, and a top trader, Alex Kirk, founded investment firm River Birch Capital. George Walker, who ran Neuberger Berman, Lehman’s wealth management division, has continued to do so, thriving since the firm became independent. “I certainly don’t think there’s any Lehman hangover on the individuals themselves,” says Robert Wolf, the former chairman and CEO of UBS Americas (UBS).

Fuld is an exception. After the bankruptcy, he stayed on to help Alvarez & Marsal, the advisory firm in charge of sorting out the mess. Then he struck out on his own. In 2009 he founded Matrix Advisors, a consulting firm for mergers and acquisitions. In a regulatory filing, Fuld reported that he works more than 60 hours a week there. He renewed his securities license through a small broker-dealer, Legend Securities, run by a friend, and even underwent a medical exam for his student pilot’s certificate. Famously driven, Fuld gave every sign that he meant to put the Lehman nightmare behind him.

According to associates of Fuld’s, he pitched deals to Steve Schwarzman at Blackstone Group (BX) and Henry Kravis at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), as well as top executives at BlackRock (BLK); tried with a buyer to arrange the purchase of OnStar fromGeneral Motors (GM); sought to interest investors in a consulting firm he hoped to launch; and did advisory work at IBM (IBM)for his friend Samuel Palmisano, then chairman and CEO. He’s also given free advice to Spring Hill Capital Partners, a merchant bank founded after the collapse by a former Lehman managing director. Yet in interviews with Lehman veterans, Wall Street colleagues, securities lawyers, and assorted friends and enemies, no one could name a significant Fuld success in the last five years—and most were curious to hear what he’d been doing.

Fuld is occasionally spotted dining at banker hot spots in Midtown Manhattan, such as San Pietro and the Four Seasons. Each spring he faithfully attends the Party in the Garden at the Museum of Modern Art, where his wife, Kathleen, once served as vice chairman of the board. But the way in which these encounters are invariably described—with slight disbelief, as if someone had spotted a unicorn—underscores how far removed Fuld is from his former glory. It isn’t that he’s pitied or despised, a former colleague explains. His name simply doesn’t come up.

Those still in contact with him say Fuld holds no illusion of a public redemption. “I will never heal from this,” he told the staff of Spring Hill at a lunch a few weeks after the bankruptcy. Lehman’s fall was particularly painful, friends say, because Fuld sees himself as having adhered to a code of honor1 during the 15 years he was building Lehman from an unwanted American Express (AXP) castoff into a major Wall Street player. He famously demanded loyalty of everyone around him and demonstrated his own by keeping much of his wealth tied up in the firm—he even bought Lehman shares on margin, says a friend. That money vanished in the crash. Friends say Fuld, whose net worth once exceeded $1 billion, may have lost that much. Meanwhile, the legal morass he left in his wake is closing in on him—and threatens to wipe out whatever dignity and wealth he may have left.

For all that he’s tried, Fuld can’t seem to escape the reach of the past. Although many of his peers also made disastrous decisions, no one on Wall Street has paid a steeper price in reputation and personal fortune. This owes partly to Fuld’s hubris, brutish manner, and aggressiveness—which earned him the nickname “the Gorilla”—but also, his handful of defenders insist, to circumstances and twists of fate beyond his control. As Brad Hintz, a former Lehman chief financial officer, says, “He’s the great Greek tragedy of the crisis.”

Wall Street may have turned its back on Fuld, but there’s one place where he remains a subject of vital interest. Management theorists have seized on his tenure at Lehman as an illustration of how executives can go awry. The latest issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry contains a long study by British academic Mark Stein titled When Does Narcissistic Leadership Become Problematic? Dick Fuld at Lehman Brothers.

Management scholars consider narcissism a common affliction among business executives and distinguish between “constructive” (good) and “reactive” (bad) varieties. Stein, a professor at the University of Leicester’s School of Management, argues that Fuld exhibited both forms. “It’s a weird thing,” he says. “Narcissists can be incredibly helpful and also incredibly destructive.”

Initially, says Stein, Fuld was a positive influence because “in his slightly militaristic and brutal way,” he imbued Lehman with a sense of purpose and direction after it was spun off from American Express in 1994 and its survival was in doubt. Ex-colleagues describe Fuld’s “Goldman envy”—his obsession with building Lehman into a firm that rivaled Goldman Sachs (GS). He nearly got there.

When the credit crisis struck, however, Fuld’s narcissism became ruinous. “It was clear that Lehman was overleveraged,” Stein says. “Many people inside and outside the firm understood that it had to be sold to survive.” But Fuld’s identity was wrapped up in Lehman, and he wouldn’t countenance the affront to his dignity that a sale would have represented. “As long as I am alive, this firm will never be sold,” he said in late 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported. “And if it is sold after I die, I will reach back from the grave and prevent it.”

When the markets began to wobble in late 2007, former Lehman executives say, Fuld thought the firm would have no trouble surviving, since the crisis initially struck the credit markets. Lehman didn’t have a robust investment banking business, nor had it amassed toxic collateralized-debt obligations, as rivals such as Merrill Lynch (BAC) had done. But it did have a $40 billion, highly illiquid, proprietary real estate business that proved impossible to unwind once the damage spread. “Only in the first quarter of 2008 did they actually begin to shed assets in a fight to stay alive,” Hintz says. Fuld’s refusal to consider selling until too late ultimately doomed his firm.

Fuld’s professional nightmare has also become a legal one. He’s been named as a defendant in more than 50 lawsuits, including those brought by New Jersey, the Washington State Investment Board, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and a class action by Lehman shareholders. Some have been settled; others are still being litigated, including suits by a group of California cities and municipalities and the Retirement Housing Foundation, a charity affiliated with the United Church of Christ, which lost tens of millions of dollars.

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Last October the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a number of shareholder claims against Lehman’s top management. But it allowed a suit specifically against Fuld that accuses him of fraudulently conveying ownership of a $13.75 million Florida mansion to his wife in the days immediately after Lehman’s collapse—an attempt, the plaintiffs allege, to shield the home from future creditors. His next deposition is scheduled for Oct. 2, when he’ll be asked why he sold his nine-bedroom, 12½-bathroom beachfront mansion to his wife for $10.

Lehman’s $250 million insurance policy has covered many of Fuld’s legal bills and those of other senior managers. But Erin Callan, the former CFO of Lehman, has said that by early last year the fund was fully depleted by settlements and attorneys’ fees. That means Fuld would have to pay his own legal bills and any judgments rendered against him. This isn’t unprecedented. The directors of Enron and Worldcom, the second- and third-largest bankruptcies after Lehman’s, wound up paying millions out of their own pockets.

Perhaps as a result, Fuld has been winding down a lifestyle that a friend confides was costing him $5 million a year. He sold his 6,000-square-foot apartment at 640 Park Ave. for $25.9 million. His wife, an avid art collector, stepped down from the MoMA board and enlisted Christie’s to sell 16 rare drawings that netted at least $20 million. According to a 2010 Fortune article byBloomberg Businessweek contributor William Cohan, Fuld reneged on a $50 million pledge to Middlebury College, where he was once a trustee. He never got his pilot’s license—buying a plane might have been too much of a splurge. Property records show Fuld and his wife still own a large home in Greenwich, Conn., as well as the Sun Valley compound, and, for now, the Florida beachfront mansion. Until the lawsuits are settled, however, he can’t be certain he’ll hold on to them.

Three fake Fulds: Dick gets onscreen treatment

Photographs by Macall B. Polay/HBO/Everett Collection (Too Big Too Fail); Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images (SNL)Three fake Fulds: Dick gets onscreen treatment

One thing that hasn’t diminished is Fuld’s conviction that Henry Paulson is the true villain of the Lehman story, and that the former U.S. Treasury secretary’s refusal to bail out the firm was driven by Paulson’s loathing for a former rival. (Before he joined George W. Bush’s administration, Paulson had been CEO of Goldman Sachs.) To his friends, Fuld insists Lehman, like every Wall Street firm, merely had a liquidity problem but was not bankrupt. Its assets would have regained their value, and the firm its solvency, he says, had it been able to access the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds or been allowed to become a bank holding company, as Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs were in the days after Lehman’s collapse. (Lehman sought this status in July 2008 and was denied.) What really tortures him, friends say, is his belief that it all came down to chance.

“Some have faulted Dick for having run an incredibly leveraged firm, for not having enough capital,” says Steven Rattner, the chairman of Willett Advisors, who worked with Fuld at Lehman in the 1980s and weathered his own scandal in 2010 after New York’s attorney general accused him of participating in a “pay to play” arrangement with a state pension fund. (Rattner paid a multimillion-dollar settlement without admitting wrongdoing.) “But he was also unlucky, because if Lehman had been first and Bear Stearns second, they would have saved Lehman, and [Bear CEO] Jimmy Cayne would have become the poster boy of the crisis.”

“He’s the great Greek tragedy of the crisis”

Other friends of Fuld almost exonerate him. “You can’t look at Lehman in isolation,” says Lehman’s former chief legal officer, Tom Russo, now general counsel for American International Group (AIG). “You have to look at it in the context of Bear, Fannie, and Freddie, and all the other TARP recipients. Lehman was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time—because everyone got bailed out, except Lehman.” Of his longtime friend and confidant, Russo says, “Dick became the focal point for a much broader problem of too much leverage—not just by banks, but by homeowners and the government, too. He was no more at fault than the heads of any of those other companies or, for that matter, the regulators who were charged with monitoring leverage.”

One associate marveled that Stan O’Neal was named to the Alcoa (AA) board after his dismissal from Merrill Lynch, yet Fuld is considered too toxic for polite company. Several ex-colleagues point out that Fuld’s desire to refashion himself as an investment adviser is hampered by his lack of any significant experience in arranging mergers and acquisitions; he began his career trading bonds. But his real problem is that he’s forever associated with the Lehman bankruptcy, and anyone who hires him, or even speaks up for him, risks having this connection rub off on them. Fuld has become Wall Street’s Hester Prynne, forever branded with a scarlet B.

Fuld has never stopped trying to claw his way back to respectability, even though the opportunities haven’t materialized. Last year he lost his securities license when Legend Securities couldn’t show regulators evidence of his work, as Fox Business Network’s (FOXA) Charlie Gasparino reported. Rules forbid brokers from “parking” their license at firms where they don’t generate business.

So Fuld has retreated to a place that is comfortable with long shots and where his name still carries totemic power: the world of lightly regulated over-the-counter stocks. He and his wife are major investors in a Phoenix-based chemical company, GlyEco(GLYE), that recycles ethylene glycol, a chemical compound used in antifreeze and polyester fibers.

“Dick and his wife are shareholders, and his business, Matrix Advisors, has done work for us,” confirms Janet Lorenz, a spokeswoman and the wife of GlyEco President John Lorenz. She wasn’t sure how Fuld had come to be involved but praised his connections. “The man obviously has vast experience in the business community and really a lot of insight in developing companies into large international entities. That’s really what his role has been with us.”

As of now, GlyEco is tiny, with first-quarter sales of $1.2 million and $2.2 million in cash on hand. It’s recently run into trouble. In April its auditors raised “substantial doubts” about its ability to remain a “going concern.” On July 24, GlyEco notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had dismissed the auditor and hired a new one.

GlyEco’s lineage shows that its founders’ original ambition was not chemical recycling. It grew out of a holding company for a San Francisco strip club called Boys Toys, which traded under the ticker symbol GRLZ. The owner, Ralph Amato, had sought to build an adult Internet-and-club empire but went bankrupt. This came after a hostile takeover attempt from a rival strip club magnate, whom Amato once called “the Howard Hughes of porn.” In late 2008, GRLZ changed its symbol, eventually settling on the more presentable GLYE. Amato, who didn’t respond to interview requests, is GlyEco’s largest shareholder and remains a consultant for the company, filings show.

Nonetheless, there was Fuld on May 30, in a dark suit and crisp shirt, front and center at the Marcum MicroCap Conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, where GlyEco was among the companies promoting “investment opportunities.” A little more than five years after negotiating Lehman’s mammoth $22 billion joint acquisition of apartment developer Archstone-Smith, Fuld was pushing a penny stock.

His old friends and associates wonder why he does it. Some speculate that the legal bills are taking a toll and he needs the money. Others describe how hard it can be to walk away from the game: Financiers, like retired professional athletes, often discover they miss the action and long to get back in. “When something like that happens,” says Rattner, “you can do one of two things: Go off and become a beer distributor and build another life for yourself. Or do your utmost to come back in what you’ve always done. Dick is trying to come back.”

Fuld may simply be motivated by an old-fashioned sense of propriety, however belated. When he finally left Lehman Brothers in 2009, he received no severance package. Nor did he file a claim against the Lehman estate to recover deferred compensation, as have other executives, including the man he once chose as his successor, Joe Gregory, who’s seeking $233 million. Instead, five years after the fall, Fuld seems to be seeking solace and some small measure of dignity by quietly carrying on.

(http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-12/where-is-dick-fuld-now-finding-lehman-brothers-last-ceo)

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抄雷曼的家 – 兩年之後…

2 05 2011

4月初有幸得到兩張美國前財政部長 Henry Paulson 在香港論壇的門券,跟我那位真正的雷曼苦主朋友去聽一聽。

轉眼間雷曼被抄家已兩年了。今時今日,除了中環各銀行門口外每天繼續沒完沒了的「咚咚喳喳」外,香港的金融界大抵已經恢復正常。面對當年眼見雷曼陷水深火熱之中而不救的 Paulson,心中那份「恨」其實都消了七七八八。人始終都是要向前看。試問沒有他當天的見死不救,又那有今天 jailbreak了的 Plato呢?

雖然金融海嘯並不是當天論壇的主題,但負責主持的馮國經第一句就問 Paulson 當年為何救 Bear Stearns、救 AIG、獨不救雷曼?好!單是這個問題已是值回票價!

 

以下是我憑記憶整理 Paulson 的答案,可能有些少出入,請多包涵。

「大家首先要明白一件事,當年各金融機構相繼出事時,其實是包含兩種問題: liquidity issue & capital issue。Liquidity issue 指公司只是一時間的現金流問題,本身的資產水平是 OK 的。如果是 capital issue,情況就比較嚴重,基本上代表公司資不抵債。

Bear Stearns 出事時是有齊 liquidity 和 capital 兩大問題。而因為 Bear Stearns 只是投資銀行,而非有牌照的銀行 (註:有牌銀行才可以收存款),所以美國政府當時是沒有權力去動用政府的資金去打救它。可幸的是我們找到了 JP Morgan 願意收購 Bear Stearns,政府只需作擔保角色,才大步檻過。

到雷曼出事時,其實他們的狀況比 Bear Stearns 更加糟糕。我們當時想用同一個方法打救,所以雷曼破產前夕我們很積極跟美銀 (BoA) 與 Barclays 研究拯救的方案。但最後 BoA 選擇救了同樣有問題的 Merrill Lynch,而 Barclays 因為英國政府的反對放棄了收購雷曼。結果,雷曼就這樣失救而死。

大家大慨會問:AIG 都只是一間保險公司而非銀行,那麼為什麼又會得美國政府包底呢?

實情時當 AIG 向我們求救時,我們起初以為 AIG 有的只是 liquidity issue 而非 capital issue,即只是短暫的周轉不靈。所以我們同意協助他們周轉。誰不知當我們再仔細讀他們盤數才發現原來他們的 capital 同樣唔掂!慶幸的是那時國會已通過了7000億的 TARP 救市資金,所以我們可以運用該資金保住了 AIG。

現在回看只能說雷曼是最不幸的一個……

即使你現在問我,我仍認為對於兩房、Bear Stearns、雷曼,我們做的決定都是對的,拯救 AIG 也是對的。整個過程中只有溝通是出了錯,我們一直都未能說服國會跟美國人民。」

這就是兩年後回頭看的「馬後炮」。雖然 Paulson 說到自己「對得住天地良心」一般,但這是否代表事情真的唔關佢事?不要忘記他做財長前在 Goldman 做了38年,又是帶領 Goldman 於1999年上市的 CEO。作為投行的領頭羊,所有投行都是釘著 Goldman 來做事的。投行世界嚇死人的花紅、無法無天的賭博心態、CDO的發跡,跟 Paulson 怎會因做了財長就脫了關係?

無錯,他解釋了當時的客觀情況,但作為財長的他究竟有幾努力去拯救整個形勢,對事情的結果有莫大的影響。當天的美國政府真的是無能為力,只能眼白白看著雷曼執笠?BoA 和 Barclays 轉軚是否代表真的到了無計可思的絕路?英國政府反對 Barclays 買雷曼時美國政府有無做嘢嘗試去力挽狂瀾?Bear Stearns 出事之後他們又是否第一步已錯估了形勢?

只有 Paulson 自己才真真正正知道究竟雷曼的家是否被抄得不明不白。

 

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如你想重讀<<抄雷曼的家>>, 可以到以下連結:
https://jailbreakplato.wordpress.com/category/%E6%8A%84%E9%9B%B7%E6%9B%BC%E7%9A%84%E5%AE%B6-series/





抄雷曼的家 – 後記

23 09 2008

想不到兜兜轉轉,這兩星期的亡命過山車終於走近終點。這兩週簡直就像「十四日不見如隔四十二秋」!那種大起大落全都是「foooooo~」一聲就過。可喜的是眾人縱使面對如此困難,不單沒有「大難臨頭各自飛」,反而互相幫助,我refer下你,你介紹下contact給我。兩位老闆亦很盡力幫得就幫,不是拍拍屁股走人。

這次我很用心逐隻逐隻字把整件事寫出來,我相信這是我人生中絕無僅有(呢D一次就夠啦!)和非常重要及難忘的一役。希望我能把那種難以形容的心路歷程透過對事件的陳述表達出來。

Last but not least,多謝忍受我這連篇冗長文字的朋友們,多謝關心我的朋友們,多謝send message給我的朋友們!

最後一個爛gag:

「今日唔知聽日事,
公司執笠話咁易;
雷曼次按係咁輸,
賤兔一夜變野豬!」





抄雷曼的家 – 九月廿二日 (星期一)

22 09 2008

終於過了這一個難捱的週末。今天早上急不及待dial in公司的morning meeting聽最新的發展。「瘦田無人耕,耕開有人爭」,一個weekend突然殺出了Standard Chartered和Nomura,變成了3頭馬車爭雷曼,management並預計6小時內可能有結果。

既然大家都是無所事事,一於就去noon雀!Noon雀,afternoon mahjong也。這次已是我的第三次了:第一次是blackout period,唔trade得;第二次是06年12.27南亞海嘯,公司的internet全部失靈;這一次的原因都可說是最可悲了。

我們一行8人浩浩蕩蕩的去到CWB,正當大家殺得勝起,玩得興高采烈時,收到YH的SMS:「The deal is done」嘩!嚇人一跳!咁快?!仲驚人過食坎坎胡!大家本來諗住打番四圈先走,最後都決定在2:30pm便打道回府。的士途中收到D老闆的電話:「你們是不是整個team出去interview?」真係不知好嬲定好笑。不過老闆咁問到,真是心都離一離!都是快馬加鞭趕回去。

四時左右看見Nomura的頭子都走到來25/F,就站在我們座位後那corner位跟雷曼的高層寒喧一番。認真難為了我們,想扮勤力又無事幹,又無理由游手好閒,點好?唯有望著Bloomberg,望著Outlook,扮read緊唔知D乜!半個小時後,Nomura的management正式跟大家見面。大慨我的英文水平太差了,只是略略聽懂了他們說的一半,認真要去學學聽日本人的口音。大慨也應該從櫃底找那本我已忘記得七七八八的日語教材。

Management接受Nomura的offer,一個很主要的原因是他們願意承擔雷曼全亞洲2970名員工,反觀Barclays以為可以襟住搶,咿咿哦哦,揀呢樣揀個樣,誰不知殺出一個程咬金,哈哈!Standard Chartered則太新了,本身什麼infrastructure都沒有,所以只是99倍大冷門的陪跑分子。江湖傳聞(唔係內幕消息!),Nomura對於我們這一班孤兒仔亦十分慷慨。他們用了US$225mil去買我們的Asia operation,但另外放US$300mil到bonus pool,match我們去年的bonus。以今年的市況,收到去年的一半都已經偷笑,所以如果這傳聞屬實,大家真的是「柳暗花明又一村」哦!





抄雷曼的家 – 九月廿、廿一日 (星期六、日)

21 09 2008

心情很差的一個weekend。當我想專心update我的resume,再在週日下午駕車去一個寧靜的海灘想一想究竟該怎麼辦,自己又多手去搞我那部身體不太好的電腦。本來只想format C drive重新裝windows,竟錯手format了D drive!我的mp3、D-cam相呀!!!還好上兩週backup了大部份的相,損失才不致太過慘重……誰不知遇到老夫子漫畫最常見的情節 — 禍不單行,連本來已經「神神」地的E drive也突然暴斃,真是令我令我令我令我火上加油!即刻邊到都唔想去!

整個weekend結果就只是update了resume和不斷嘗試recover我那些不見了的data!





抄雷曼的家 – 九月十九日 (星期五)

19 09 2008

今天死命的在office撐到下午就是等Mr. Asia CEO五時正的townhall speech和晚上的team drink。還好股市今天風起雲湧,提供了最好的娛樂。延續了昨天像去年8.17大奇蹟日的走勢,怒升了1900點,連最重磅的中移動都被「移動」了15%,真是看得人目定口呆!

平常的townhall meeting都是要三催四請大家才慢慢的過去。今次他們佈下天羅地網,把所有的TV screen、speakerbus都現場直播,很明顯是想確保每一個角落的員工都聽到management的一番肺腑之言,期望能穩定軍心,最起碼在跟Barclays的negotiation完結之前,減低流失率。其實Mr. Asia CEO只草草講了5分鐘,講完等於無講。之後再公佈公司已正式委任KPMG為雷曼亞洲的清盤人,他們的阿頭趁機走出來打個招呼,實行先禮後兵,講一聲「打攪晒啦!」預先警告將會深入我方陣地進行清盤大行動。

黃昏的team drinks出乎意料的受歡迎,連平日少見的中國隊也踴躍參加!這次我們避走中環(敗家之將,費事撞口撞面都係識人),轉戰CWB Henry House,效果又不錯哦!Henry House的happy hour比較少人,所以我們很輕易就霸佔了兩張大檯。大家一起具杯cheers!時有點像「雷曼大班的最後一夜」,特別有一種惺惺相惜的感覺。大家除了談天說地,最火滾和最有共鳴莫過於談到PK Dick時了。大家頓時感到有了一個共同的攻擊目標,可以不停的插、插、插!另一邊廂,大家亦互相問侯前途如何打算。有幾位同事跟我一樣覺得似站在十字路口,對於是否該留戀這金錢世界?

整晚的高潮位當然是D老闆的出場!(咁大家不用擔心張單……)雖然D老闆在場令大家有點拘謹,但我相信眾人心裡都是很appreciate的。他這星期勞心勞力,真是如他自己所講「我為人民服務」。他告知weekend將會是與Barclays談判的關鍵時刻。其實今天下午trading的同事已過來收集我們的trade information,都知道這頭親事已到了進入直路階段的due diligence。究竟我們的前面是生機,還是死路?!

又要等週末之後下回分解……如果我心血少D,實變做思覺失調!





抄雷曼的家 – 九月十七、十八日 (星期三、四)

18 09 2008

這兩天大家都忙,當然不是忙做trade啦!公司都無啦,trade乜鬼呀!是忙於寫resume、見headhunter。所有人已經很大模斯樣地講手提電話,有重要來電時,便隨意走進一間無人的meeting room,關埋房門慢慢傾。我自己則不是很主動去找headhunter,反正各同事們的collective information是外面根本沒有工,headhunter大部份都是吹水多,實則是想攞料。況且就算有什麼openings,都不會三朝兩日見得成。現在是buyers’ market,他們一定好似揀西瓜,拿上手慢慢揀到最好的,再壓你價!另一方面,A老闆的看法是應該盡快在market中蒲頭,讓大家知道你的存在,you are in the game!聽落也有點道理。

不過我還是有點懶懶閒,weekend才update我的resume吧!其實,我也會想這是否「天意」,給我一個break去想清楚人生接下來的方向。畢竟已不知不覺間在這公司、這行頭三年有多,原本想多賺幾年錢,可以像Y同事般去試別的東西。誰不知一夜之間竟變無業遊民。金融界在這一役後必定元氣大傷,未來兩年都不見得有好日子過。或許,這真的是個好機會出去闖一闖?!

這次事件中最難受的顯然是那班人到中年的同事們。「仔細老婆嫩」,要養老婆、湊仔、供車、供樓,甚至乎照顧兩老。當平日氣勢逼人,腦筋轉數極快的D老闆都「榭」了,輕嘆一句「我終於知道什麼是mid-life crisis」,他們的壓力、這次所受影響可想有多大。所以,當老闆們在努力安置各隊員時,也會特別照顧這班夾心階層。

大家在公司多了空閒時間,除了互換情報外,交談的最熱門話題就是PK Dick。真係唔叫佢PK都唔得!雷曼的員工總共擁有大約25%的雷曼股票,他的領導失誤令公司內眾多百萬富豪一朝付諸流水。以D老闆為例,親手湊大的團隊就這樣被PK Dick一手打垮。十多年的effort,儲來的雷曼股票,不只銀包大傷,事業更一舜間變得一無所有。有時眼尾「捎」向他的房間,一副我未曾見過的落寞表情,真是忍不住暗嘆一聲「唉」…… 又以A老闆為例,他多年來在舊鋪儲來的股票,都在過檔時以高價換了做雷曼的股票,現在真是心都赤埋。難為他每天還可以在公司很用心的鼓勵大家積極面對,幫大家搵後路,我想我們眾人都是十分appreciate的。

叫得PK Dick當然不止於此!PK Dick自從雷曼爆煲後,連站出來講句說話的勇氣都沒有。最基本的道歉,或認錯都無。他出來講聲「Sorry guys, I fk-ed up」都起碼是一個交代。這兩天已有不耐煩的員工寫email「X九佢」。當Barclays在星期二用US$1.75bn收購了美國的業務之後,PK Dick才在press release中說「it is clearly the best possible outcome」、「I feel horrible」,真係BEST佢老味!累得25000名員工、千千萬萬的股東跟他一起陪葬,this is the best fking possible outcome?!

OK算啦算啦,就當大家上錯賊船,就當PK Dick無能地做錯了決定,害得大家雞毛鴨血……但是,最令人髮指的是他竟然在雷曼破產後,在9/15-9/16將他手上持有3,382,046股雷曼股票,其中2,878,302股在market以賤價US$0.16-0.30賣出,套現50多萬。OMG!Does this guy has any dignity?他有沒有丁點兒的骨氣?PK Dick作為雷曼的總舵手,駕駛不善撞沉船,現在竟然是第一個跳船逃生?!我實在無話可說。他大慨應該去多上10年的PR班,再行過Blockbuster租隻Titanic去學下人家是怎樣做船長!

真係唔叫佢PK都唔得!!!